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Does a Disadvantaged Candidate Choose an Extremist Position?

Raphael Soubeyran ()

Annals of Economics and Statistics, 2009, issue 93-94, 301-326

Abstract: Does a disadvantaged candidate always choose an extremist program? When does a less competent candidate have an incentive to move to extreme positions in order to differentiate himself from the more competent candidate? Recent work answers by the affirmative - Groseclose (1999), Ansolabehere and Snyder (2000), Aragones and Palfrey (2002), (2003). We consider a two-candidates electoral competition over public consumption, with a two-dimensional policy space and two dimensions of candidate heterogeneity. In this setting, we show that the conclusion depends on the relative competences of candidates and distinguish between two types of advantages (an absolute advantage and comparative advantage in providing the two public goods).

Date: 2009
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